The Scottish National Party is facing pressure to ditch a candidate who mocked a “tranny trove” of EU diversity funding.

Gillian Martin is the party’s candidate in Aberdeenshire East in the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections, running to hold the seat of the party’s former leader Alex Salmond.

However, the party has faced questions about her future this week after the Mail exposed some of the comments made by Ms Martin on her blog.

In blog posts dating back several years, Ms Martin mocked an EU survey asking students to answer questions about gender identity, claiming it was sitting on a “tranny trove” of cash.

Elsewhere she referred to Mr Salmond as a “smug git”, and branded the royal family an “inbred bunch of dysfunctionals”.

Despite the comments, a spokesperson for the party ducked pressure to condemn the candidate.

An SNP spokesperson said: “Many of the posts stem from almost a decade ago – at which point Gillian wasn’t even an SNP member.

“People in Aberdeenshire East care about how Gillian plans to stand up for them at Holyrood, not about some out-of-context entries from a 10-year-old blog.”

However, Lib Dem candidate Christine Jardine responded: “I am absolutely astonished that the SNP could endorse such views from a candidate.

“For Ms Martin to describe the EU as a ‘tranny trove’ is outrageous. It is an offensive comment for which voters in Aberdeenshire East, particularly the LGBTi community, demand an explanation.

She added: “The people of Aberdeenshire East deserve an MSP who will represent their views responsibly and with respect for all sections of the community.

“We all deserve explanations both from Ms Martin and from the SNP as to why they think this type of disrespect is acceptable.”

Stonewall Scotland questioned the “casual transphobia in Gillian Martin’s comments” and urged her to “publicly support” trans and LGB equality.